Srinagar, South Kashmir areas inundated; Several people rescued; CM directs officials to remain alert; CS reviews situation
Heavy rains lashed Jammu and Kashmir, including the summer capital Srinagar, for the second consecutive day Wednesday, triggering flood threat across the Valley. The Meteorological department predicted no improvement in weather till Saturday morning.
MeT Director Sonam Lotus said moderate to heavy rains will continue to lash Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions till Saturday morning. “There is a precipitation due to interaction between the monsoon currents and Western Disturbances prevalent over all three regions of the State,” he told Greater Kashmir.
Lotus said there has been a dip in temperatures across Jammu and Kashmir while higher reaches in Ladakh received moderate snowfall last night.
RISING WATER LEVELS
The water level in Chenab, Jhelum and other major rivers and streams in the State has risen overnight. The incessant rains, which threw life out of gear across Kashmir, also triggered a flood alert in South Kashmir areas.
“We have issued flood alert for Anantnag, Pulwama and Kulgam districts,” Chief Engineer, Flood Control Department, Javid Jaffer told Greater Kashmir.
He said the water level at Sangam is 21-feet and “once it cross the 23-feet mark, flood alert is declared.”
“There has been a rise in water levels in Lidder, Toungri and Vaishav nallahs,” he said, adding the situation is being monitored closely.
Jaffer said the situation in Srinagar is also being monitored while water level at Ram Munshi Bagh is at still 12-feet. “It is six notches below the danger mark,” he said, adding, “There has been no increase in water levels in north Kashmir rivers.”
VAISHAW NALLAH ‘BREACHED’
At least six nomads were evacuated while 14 others are still feared trapped in Akhran village of Kulgam district after the Vaishaw basin waters entered the hamlet. “Many people living along the river banks and streams have been evacuated to safer places,” said an official.
He said the water level of Vaishaw Nallah in Kulgam, Sandran in Qazigund, Lidder along Pahalgam as well as Jhelum has already gone up.
“The rescue operation in Akhran village is being carried out by district administration, police, Fire and Emergency Service department and rafters from Pahalgam,” he said.
He said six nomads including three children and three women have so far been rescued and efforts are on to rescue the stranded ones.
“The increase in water level in the nallah is hindering the rescue operation. We had sought a chopper for the operation, but bad weather is playing a spoilsport,”
Deputy Commissioner, Kulgam, Nisar Ahmad Wani, said.
“The nomads had erected makeshift tents between two sides of Vaishaw Nallah and they were stranded due to flashfloods,” an official said.
Reports said many people living around the banks of the Nallah and Sandran river in Qazigund were evacuated and shifted to safer places.
“Police and district administration rescued hundreds of families from overflowing Vaishaw Nallah in dozens of villages in Kulgam including Ladoo, Ashmuji and Bhan. All the evacuated persons have been shifted and adjusted in schools and other government buildings,” an official said.
In Kaimoh area of Kulgam, authorities closed the Anantnag-Shopian road and didn’t allow any vehicle to cross the Kaimoh Bridge after increase in the water level in adjacent river. “Khudwani, Redwani, Qaimoh and adjoining villages are submerged,” locals told Greater Kashmir.
In Anantnag district, the water level of Jhelum river at Sangam was above danger mark while at Khanabal it touched the danger mark, officials said. The administration has asked people living on the banks of Jhelum to shift to safer places.
“The water level of Jhelum at Sangum is already running above the danger level and it has reached 22-feet mark,” said Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, Bashir Ahmad Khan.
He said with no respite in rainfall, flood threat is looming large.
Reports of damages to residential houses and cowsheds were received from various areas of the district, including Dooru, Verinag, Kokernag and Shangus.
In Tral area of Pulwama district, the water level in Nallah Aripal has also increased.
In Shopian, the water level of Rambiara Nallah also increased considerably and reports said several villages were submerged. Consequently, they said, the Fire and Emergency department personnel have rescued many families at Kaprin in Shopian district
“The waters from Rambiara entered Sarvan Napur village in Khelna area of Pulwama district and area is completely submerged and the villagers have been evacuated,” reports said.
Incessant rains also caused water-logging in all major towns of South Kashmir including Anantnag, Bijbehara, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Kakpora, Rajpora, Awantipora, Pampore and others, causing problems for pedestrians and also hampering the movement of traffic.
Meanwhile, five families consisting 23 souls—who were stranded in the Rambiara—were rescued by the District Administration with the support of locals of Kapran.
SRINAGAR AREAS INUNDATED:
Many areas in Srinagar were inundated Wednesday due to heavy rains, disrupting normal life across the summer capital. These included Safa Kadal, Eidgah, Nowshehra, Soura, Ali Jan Road, Gulshan Nagar, Mehjoor Nagar, Gogji Bagh, Wazir Bagh, Jawahar Nagar, Rajbagh and Bemina.
Several important roads, lanes and by-lanes in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk were also submerged due to water-logging, thus making the movement of pedestrians difficult.
People alleged the district administration has failed to tackle the situation emerging due to continuous rains. Srinagar city witnessed traffic jams for throughout the day, giving tough time to people.
The authorities in Ganderbal rescued a person who was swayed away by flashfloods in nallah Sindh. Manzoor Ahmad Ganie son of Asadullah Ganie of Check Watal Lar was taken away strong water currents at Sindbal while collecting wood from the nallah. However, police, civil administration and Army launched a rescue operation and the person was saved.
At least seven labourers were feared trapped in a stone crusher at Shrai area of Kunzar Tangmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district following torrential rains that led to collapse of a bund on Ferozpoora nallah.
According to reports, the rescue team was finding it difficult to evacuate the labourers as the water level in the nallah is very level.
“We have requested the district administration to avail the service of a helicopter so that the trapped workers are evacuated,” said an official, who is part of the rescue operation.
Meanwhile, torrential rains inundated several parts of north Kashmir including Pattan and Tangmarg. Reports from Kunzar suggested several were inundated due to flashfloods. These include Bongam, Ogmana, Cashmatipora, Kasaie Mohalla and Tarhama.
In Pattan, scores of localities are inundated. The Hanjiveera-Magam road has been closed for traffic following overflow of water in a nearby stream. According to reports, the water level in some of the streams like Ferozpora, Nallah Ningli and Puhroo nallah is at its maximum and if rains continue “it can pose a threat to the life and property in the area,” officials said.
HIGHWAY TRAFFIC DISRUPTED:
Heavy rainfall resulted in closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway for most part of the day, officials of Traffic department said here.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Haseeb Mughal said landslides and shooting stones resulted in long traffic jams on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
He, however said, after hectic efforts, the road was cleared and the traffic was restored on the highway.
He advised people to confirm the status of the highway on Thursday before proceeding towards Jammu or Srinagar.
Police Wednesday rescued 17 persons of four families from flood ravaged parts of south Kashmir.
“Four families, consisting of 17 members, were rescued from Birigam village in Qazzigund area of south Kashmir following floods there,” a police official said.
He said the families have been evacuated from their homes and lodged in a local panchayat ghar. Police and army have launched a rescue operation to rescue 19 nomads who are trapped in flood water at Banjarpora in Kulgam district, the official said.
An official of the MeT department said Qazigund received the highest amount of rainfall at 160.2 mm rain since yesterday morning. Kokernag area recorded 113.5 mm rainfall during this period followed by Pahalgam at 70.4 mm and Srinagar at 52.8 mm, he said.
CM DIRECTS OFFICIALS TO REMAIN ALERT
An official spokesman said the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is personally monitoring the situation that has arisen due to incessant rain in the State. “ The Chief Minister has put the State Administration on high alert, directing them to be at the beck and call of the people wherever required,” he said.
Chief Minister has directed the Divisional Commissioners to place senior officers on duty for monitoring the situation and initiate all necessary measures to safeguard the people. He directed them to keep control rooms operational round-the-clock so that there is close contact between the people and the concerned officers.
“Omar Abdullah received brief from the administration about the situation in Kulgam, Shopian, Baramulla, Surankote and other areas where water has increased to dangerous levels. He also received brief about the rescue and relief operations put in place by the administration to meet the challenges. He said that rescue operations on war-footing should be carried out wherever need arises.
Under the directions of the Chief Minister, the State Administration has asked the Air force authorities to keep aerial rescue plan in place for utilization,” the spokesman added.
CS REVIEWS FLOOD SITUATION
In view of continuous rainfall and flood-like situation in many districts of the State, Chief Secretary Muhammad Iqbal Khandey held a video conference with Deputy Commissioners of various districts and received a brief regarding the situation.
The Chief Secretary, an official said, impressed upon the officers to take all precautionary measures and remain vigilant to tackle any untoward incident. He asked the Deputy Commissioners to extend immediate relief measures the affected people.
4 children among 5 killed as landslides hit Mahore
Rescue operation on, death toll may go up: Officials
Official sources said heavy landslides triggered by incessant rains hit the Dhoks situated on the hill slope. Five bodies have been retrieved so far from the debris and the rescue teams sent by the district administration are looking for more persons feared trapped inside, officials said.
The deceased have been identified as Begi (50-year-old); Janu (5); Zafoon (7); Kathoon (1); and Nasir (5).
When contacted, Superintendent of Police Reasi, Vivek Gupta, confirmed five deaths and said the rescue operation is going on. “There is possibility of more persons trapped in the debris. However we are not able to establish a contact with the rescue teams on the spot to get the latest reports,” he said.